Improving pretend play skills of children with autism using the point-of-view video modeling and multiple video exemplars

Video modeling has been found to be effective in teaching play behavior to children diagnosed with autism. Recently, differences in the “point of view” shown in the video have been studied with this population. The purpose of the present study was to further investigate the effects of point-of-view video modeling in order to improve the pretend play skills of three boys aged 5-7 years diagnosed with autism. Additionally, multiple exemplars of the same play script were presented to increase novel responding during play. The combined design was based on multiple baseline design across participants with an alternating treatment to investigate the effects of video modeling intervention and multiple exemplars. Each child learned pretend play actions and verbalizations from two different play themes. One play theme had three similar scripts with minor variations that were presented in three separate videos. A second play theme had only one script which was presented in one video. Results were mixed. Point of view video modeling was effective in teaching two different sequences of pretend play actions and verbalizations for one child. It was only effective in teaching motor actions, but not verbal responses to the second child. Neither behavior improved for the third child. Presentation of minor variations in video exemplars did not result in increased levels of novel play. Implications for point-of-view video modeling and strategies to increase actions not modeled in the video on the play behavior of children with autism are discussed.